Leigh Anne Rayburn with group

On October 9, and in front of the entire YES Prep Southeast senior class, State Senator Larry Taylor presented Leigh Anne Rayburn with the 2019 Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award. Around 700 teachers were nominated, and Rayburn was among this year’s twelve winners. 

Meet Ms. Rayburn 

Leigh Anne Rayburn studied writing and history at Texas Christian University and worked in the private sector as an editor and writer before arriving at YES Prep in 2000. In her 20 years at YES Prep Southeast, Leigh Anne has held many positions, including course facilitator, grade-level chair, and Dean of Students. She has taught English Language Arts (ELA) to seventh, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades, and for the past 12 years has specialized in AP English Language instruction.   

Leigh Anne is a blood drive coordinator and donor, a 2009 Kinder Award winner, and reads for the College Board. She is a grammar nerd who is also passionate about building cultural literacy in her students. A native Texan, Leigh Anne loves all things Houston, her dog, Wembley, as well as her human family members, husband Chris and daughter Harley. 

“It’s an honor to be recognized by Humanities Texas and to have been nominated by my former colleague, Michael Dies, and recommended by YES founder Chris Barbic and 2013 alumna Sarah Gamblin. Everyone I’ve taught or worked side by side with at YES has informed and influenced my teaching career, and I am grateful for the trust this community places in me to educate our students.” 

“The heart of Southeast” 

YES Prep Southeast Principal Eileen Galligan shared, “Leigh Anne Rayburn is an institution at YES Prep Southeast. As a College Board Advanced Placement reader for AP English Language, she not only brings her expertise into the classroom every day, but makes her course one where students learn to cherish language and the power it holds. She encourages students to read deeply to inform their opinions and views of the world and empowers them with the confidence to make their voices heard. She remains connected to hundreds of YES Prep alumni and staff and is a mentor to so many. We are grateful to have her as part of the heart of our Southeast community.” 

About the Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Awards 

The Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Awards recognizes exemplary K–12 humanities teachers. Nominees must be full-time teachers in Texas public or private schools. Teachers of English and language arts, foreign languages, history, and social studies are eligible. Nominees should be skillful and dedicated teachers who possess an expansive and profound knowledge of the humanities subject they teach and have a record of active involvement in community activities and professional organizations, particularly those that promote the humanities. Each year, twelve teachers are selected to receive a $5,000 cash award and an additional $500 for their respective schools to purchase humanities-based instructional materials. To learn more, click here